In May 2005, the SFO commenced an investigation relating to a Spain-based ‘boiler room’ using high-pressure selling tactics to push shares on UK-based private investors.
In December 2008, the SFO charged five individuals with conspiracy defraud. The trial opened at Ipswich Crown Court on 14 April 2010 with HHJ Holt presiding and the jury returned verdicts on 15 July.
David Vidgeon (02/01/1980), the main architect of the fraud, and Rahul Patel (09/09/1975), who ran a call centre pushing the shares in Barcelona, were found guilty of running a high-pressure share-pushing scheme from Spain to defraud around 1,250 UK-based investors out of over £7 million. The fraudsters sold low-value shares to private investors from call centres, or boiler rooms, in Spain, purposefully misrepresenting their value and prospects to sell them well above value. After selling the shares, Vidgeon and Patel siphoned off around 80% of the investment amount, leaving the investors with shares worth a fraction of their original investment.
Vidgeon and Patel were both found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, contrary to common law, and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment each. Three other defendants, Baldur Sigurdsson, Roland Pibworth (tried in absentia) and Craig John Clark, were acquitted.
David Vidgeon was originally ordered to pay £106,539.03by HHJ Holt on 17th August 2011. The benefit figure was £ 1,052,592. The available amount (and thus the confiscation order) was £ 106, 539.03. The shortfall was therefore £ 946,052.97
On 14 January 2021, the SFO secured a £163,350 increase in the confiscation order against Vidgeon, bringing the total confiscation amount to £269,889.03. The increase in the confiscation order comes after investigations by the SFO’s Proceeds of Crime team revealed that the realisable assets of Vidgeon were greater than previously thought.
Those who think they may be a victim in this case should contact HM Courts and Tribunals Service at firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting the reference “Vidgeon”.
More information on the case can be found here.
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